Saturday, March 29, 2014

Imposter, ISA 2014 edition

Long ago, Dan Drezner posted about the imposter syndrome.  The basic idea is that many folks feel as if they will be found out, that there are other folks out there that are smarter, more informed and that one is just getting away with being less than that until eventually getting found out. 

That piece resonated with me way back then, and it was funny to hear multiple people raise it this week in Toronto at the ISA.  I suddenly realized why this might be the case: there are so many impressive people doing impressive stuff that everyone seems better, more expert and so on, so more folks feel as if they are imposters.  I have long said that there is always a bigger fish (thanks to Phantom Menace, yuck). 

Well, I got to hang out with some really sharp folks, who are so ambitious, creative, responsible, aware and engaged that when I hear them utter the imposter syndrome stuff, I am really struck.  one could attend these conferences and be paralyzed by fear of being found out, paralyzed by how much more impressive these other folks are.  Or one can be inspired.  I know that I will never be as impressive as these folks, but they do inspire me to be more aware, to figure out what my impact can be, to do better, and be more helpful to others. 

Of course, there is only one song to invoke here:


Anonymous said...

It is nice to know that other people feel the same way. Even after many years of doing this, I still get a nervous about how a new project will be received.

BTW - I work at TCU - you made one of our student's nights at the FPA reception last night (she was the undergrad with the France/Netherlands NATO paper).

Steve Saideman said...

Cool. I liked her project and would have liked to chat longer but I had to check to see if the reception was set up. heavy lies the crown and all that.

Anonymous said...

I'll pass that along .
- Eric Cox

Anonymous said...

(I was the first comment if that wasn't obvious)